Championship matches set for Ontario and Canada West Conferences in women’s volleyball

WINNIPEG - The number-one ranked UBC Thunderbirds and the Manitoba Bisons will clash in the Canada West Conference women’s volleyball final and McMaster and Toronto are the Ontario finalists following Friday night’s semifinal matches at Final Four tournaments in Winnipeg and Hamilton.

In Winnipeg, the number-three nationally ranked Bisons assured themselves a berth at the CIS championships for the first time in four years defeating the number-four Trinity Western University (Langley, B.C.) Spartans 24-26, 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11. The top-three teams in the Canada West Conference gain a berth at the CIS Nationals set for March 5-7 in Edmonton.

The Bisons were led by Tricia Mayba with 17 kills, Hunter had 16 and Ashley Voth had 15, and Kate Wasyliw 10. On the Spartans' side of the net, Kim Klassen matched Hunter with 16 kills, while Kara JansenVanDoorn added 13.

"It means a lot to us, we have a young team right now, one rookie and no fifth-years,” said Bisons setter Sam Loewen. “It means we have a lot of work to do but we're on our way."

In the other semi, the Thunderbirds kept their perfect season intact defeating the Regina Cougars 25-16, 15-25, 25-19, 25-13. 

The bronze medal match between Cougars and Spartans is Saturday at 6 p.m. (local time) followed by the Thunberbirds-Bisons championship final at 8 p.m.

In Hamilton, the top-seed McMaster Marauders advanced to their fourth consecutive Ontario final defeating Queen's (Kingston, Ont.) 25-15, 25-21, 18-25, 25-13. They’ll face the University of Toronto which beat the University of Western Ontario (London) 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12.

The Queen’s-Western bronze match is at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the final between McMaster and Toronto at 6:30 p.m.